Space Camp Death Squad Reboots

ATX hip-hop trio premieres “Joe Dassin”

“We look like the un-rappiest rappers right now,” observes Ryan Darbonne, seated outside a coffeehouse with bandmate P-Tek, who’s munching on a muffin. Both are wearing shorts and eyeglasses.

Their irreverent Austin hip-hop crew, Space Camp Death Squad, releases its second album next week. Darbonne calls the eponymous effort “a reintroduction” since it’s the first recording after the addition of P-Tek (Adam Protextor) and Secret Levels (Colton Fergurson). Having two Caucasians in the group following the retirement of Filipino MC Noah Swords in 2013 inspired a shift away from the group’s “fuck all white people” humor.

Space Camp Death Squad: (l-r) P-Tek, Ryan Darbonne, and Secret Levels (Photo by Courtesy of Space Camp Death Squad)

“With Noah it was easy to talk about race,” explains Darbonne, who titled the first disc Racism. “Now, those songs wouldn’t be as pointed and satirical if we just made fun of white people. We still have subjects, but they’re bigger subjects.”

The new LP marinates in topics including the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, student load debt, and calling out the prejudice of public figures. As for their preposterous nom-de-band, which was paired down from Space Camp Death Squad Bang Bus Squad We Whip Our Dicks out for Money and Smash Mouth Tickets, Darbonne did, in fact, attend Space Camp as a seventh grader. P-Tek just mail-ordered the free informational VHS tape.

“Space Camp’s polemicist is going after either people in the rap community or in the world community who we think are assholes,” outlines P-Tek. “We’re ripping on Lord Jamar for being homophobic and politicians like Greg Abbott and Rick Perry. Lyrically, it’s a punk mentality.

“There’s also going to be some talk about poop.”

Both sides of SCDS’s lyrical coin, the socially relevant and the humorously inane, are present on new single “Joe Dassin,” named for the French singer-songwriter whose version of “Les Champs Elysees” is used as the sample. The track features verses from all three members and was produced by Marcel Andrie.

Catch Space Camp Death Squad in action Saturday night on Mohawk’s outside stage where they open for Houston gangster rap veterans Geto Boys.

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Space Camp Death Squad, Ryan Darbonne, Adam Protextor, P-Tek, Secret Levels, Colton Fergurson, Lord Jamar, Joe Dassin, Marcel Andrie, Geto Boyz

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